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Ferial Haffajee: Tumi Morake, Solidarity And 21st Century Baasskap

Why is her management making Morake appear before the bully-boys of Solidarity and AfriForum?

20/09/2017 18:17 SAST | Updated 20/09/2017 18:49 SAST
Marie Claire
Tumi Morake

For Jacaranda FM to make DJ Tumi Morake appear before the right-wing trade union Solidarity or its civil society arm AfriForum is a profound act of baasskap or white dominion.

All week long, the station has failed its mega-star and leading comedian with its tepid approach to racist bullies. It is fearful of losing advertisers and is pandering to listeners who were upset by her riff on apartheid.

To make her meet Solidarity means the schoolyard bullies have won and it is, in its most base reading, a meeting to subject a black woman to the dominion of bullying white men.

Morake was very kind to compare apartheid to a tussle over who owns the bicycle in the schoolyard. The award-winning and much-loved comedian likened apartheid to a bully taking a kid's bicycle -- and the kid being made to share the bicycle, post-apartheid.

In fact, apartheid was much worse than that. No less an authority than the United Nations Rome Statute declared it a crime against humanity. Any right-thinking South African knows this to be true: apartheid was a system of race-based and systematic discrimination and oppression.

And no amount of revisionism by the two organisations can change that truth: they have variously referred to apartheid as a "woolly concept" and as a "so-called historical injustice". There was nothing "woolly" or "so-called" about apartheid oppression and by pandering to them, the radio station is engaging their revisionism.

I hope her phone's ringing off the hook with job offers from radio stations keen for her brand of humour and suss...

One of Morake's co-presenters, Rian van Heerden, suggested she go along to AfriForum's head office and share a koeksister and, I guess, say sorry to the baases... This is the equivalent condescension of a black person suggesting he hits up a kota at Luthuli House if the ANC gets annoyed with him.

As a country, we continue to live with apartheid's warts, scars and disfiguration 23 years after it formally ended. All our harshest economic debates are about who rides the bicycle and who owns the most of it? I think we should be building a better bicycle, but that's a story for a different day.

So why is her management making Morake appear before the bully-boys of Solidarity and AfriForum? Solidarity used to be a very good trade union but it has morphed into a laager, which sees the country it lives in as enemy territory hostile to white South Africans.

Most white South Africans appear not to buy into the apocalyptic vision of Solidarity and its wealthy and well-organised civil society arm called AfriForum. But Jacaranda FM is spooked by how the two organisations arranged a boycott of Spur, which made the popular restaurant chain change tack on progressive anti-racism measures.

Morake did not mention Solidarity in her bicycle analogy and she owes nothing to the organisation. I hope her phone's ringing off the hook with job offers from radio stations keen for her brand of humour and suss and who will not make her kowtow to groupings rapidly becoming South Africa's version of the US's Tea Party movement -- a rich and conservative white right's movement which propelled US President Donald Trump into the White House.